Church Sunday School Ministry
The Sunday School invites you to participate in our Sunday School as we read through and study the entire Bible beginning with Genesis, and any of our services. Sunday School begins at 9:30 AM. We believe that our church is no stronger than our Sunday School.
The basic concept of the Sunday School is to provide an organization to carry out some fundamental ministry tasks on behalf of the church. These include Bible study, ministry, outreach, and fellowship, all of which can be accomplished more effectively and more personally in a small-group setting, rather than in the larger congregation. Our Sunday School is organized to meet life needs of all age groups, babies through senior adults, in settings and using learning methods appropriate for each developmental level.
We are convinced that basic organizational and relational principles, firmly founded on Biblical guidelines and on current knowledge about such areas as group dynamics and educational psychology, will work in any denominational setting.
The most obvious point is that Bible study is central to the growth of an individual Christian. We take the Biblical revelation as inspired and normative, so that our approach is not to argue over relevancy or implications--we assume the truth of the Bible and head for the application to current living.
While personal, private Bible study is invaluable for Christian growth, participation in a group which studies the Scriptures in a systematic way, with learning guided by trained teachers, in a small group setting which can serve as a support and accountability group is what Sunday School is all about.
Sunday School is a lay movement, with volunteer workers serving in every area of the organization. Funding comes from the unified church budget, subscribed by tithes and offerings of the church members. The church is responsible for enlisting, training, and encouraging the faculty, and for providing the curriculum materials, supplies, and adequate space and learning environment for each class.
If I was to describe the mission of the Sunday School in one word, that word would be ministry. People have all kinds of needs; the Sunday School, with its small group orientation and its foundation on sound Biblical teaching, is structured to deal effectively with emotional needs (such as self-esteem, search for meaning), social needs (such as loneliness, rewarding service opportunities), and physical and financial needs (as the church uses the Sunday School as a channel for benevolence ministry). Most importantly, however, the Sunday School is an effective arm of the church to meet spiritual needs, which the church is uniquely qualified to deal with.
The organization of the Sunday School provides an assigned class for every individual. This same organization provides an ideal foundation for reaching prospective members for the Sunday School and for the church. A class provided with a list of prospects can put its Christian teaching into practical application as they pray for, contact, minister to, and visit the prospects with a view toward enlisting their participation in and eventually becoming a part of the class.
Where the word of God is taught, lives are challenged and decisions are made. The Bible confronts individuals and calls for a response. The diligent teaching of the Bible calls people to saving faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The environment found in a small group of caring individuals who meet regularly to encourage and exhort one another, centered on the Bible, provides the best possible setting for the work of the Holy Spirit in conviction and regeneration.
The objectives of the Sunday School must be derived from the objectives of the church. In my view, these are clearly defined by the Great Commission: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy
Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20). This passage is summarizes the New Testament teachings of the purpose of the church.
The Sunday School is the entire body of the church, including members, non-members, children, and adults, administratively organized with definite responsibilities for teaching, outreach, ministry, and fellowship. Thus the Sunday School is simply the church organized to carry out the Great Commission.
As such, the Sunday School is directly responsible to the church (by whatever polity the church operates) to accomplish these goals.
At the highest level, the objectives are:
"teach all nations" (outreach and education)
"baptizing them" (outreach and evangelism)
"teach them to observe (education and application)
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM THAT BELIEVETH!
Jacksonville, Florida 32221